Bitcoin had an interesting surge last week, rising over $5.6k for the first time in 2019 on Tuesday. However, that didn’t stop the cryptocurrency from suffering losses during the week, alongside the rest of the top 5 cryptocurrencies. Other developments include New York’s State Attorney General suing Bitfinex and Tether, Indian government departments considering a ban on crypto, Samsung’s continued flirtation with crypto and the release of the alpha of the Bitcoin Lightning Network client.
Here’s what you need to know about last week’s happenings in the crypto world:
Bitcoin (BTC) opened Monday at $5,312.49, went up 1.6% during the day and closed at $5,399.37. On Tuesday the price of bitcoin continued to rise, closing the day at $5,572.36. Bitcoin’s dominance on the crypto market also increased that day, from 52.5% to 53.2%. The rise of bitcoin’s price didn’t stop there, and the coin reached its highest price of 2019 so far, peaking at $5,642.04 on Wednesday. By Thursday, however, the market started sputtering, and by Friday bitcoin hit its low of the week, at $5,177.37, a 8.2% decrease from its high. The weekend was rather stable, with Bitcoin closing at $5,268.29 and $5,285.14 on Saturday and Sunday respectively, with a 0.25% gain for the day on the latter and a 0.5% loss for the week. Bitcoin’s market capitalization was $95.4B on Monday, grew to $98,4B on Tuesday and closed Sunday at $93,4B, losing 2.1% of its value over the course of the week.
Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: COIN360
Ethereum (ETH) started the week high at $170.02 and closed Monday 1.1% higher, at $171.87. Its high of the week came on Tuesday, with ETH’s price at $176.85. By the end of the day, Ethereum’s price had gone down to $171.45, and it continued to gradually decrease throughout the week, to hit its low on Friday at $152.09, a staggering 14% decrease from the week’s high. Over the weekend, ETH’s price went up slightly, to close Sunday at $157.3, with a 0.8% loss for the day and a 7.5% loss for the week. The market capitalization for Ethereum was $18,2B on Monday, shredding 8.4% of its value throughout the week to close on $16,7B on Sunday.
Ethereum 7-day price chart. Source: COIN360
Ripple (XRP) kicked off Monday at $0.322277, and shortly after, experienced its high of the week, with a price of $0.32935. By the end of the day the price of XRP had dropped slightly and on Tuesday the coin closed at $0.321222, with almost no losses compared to the beginning of the week. On Wednesday, XRP’s price dropped 5.9% and closed the day at $0.302318. The coin’s value continued to fall as the week came to an end, hitting its low on Friday at $0,287485. Saturday and Sunday showed little change and XRP closed Sunday at $0.297426, experiencing a 0.2% gain for the day and a 7.7% loss for the week. The market capitalization for Ripple lost 8.2% of its value last week, going from $13.6B on Monday to $12.5B on Sunday.
Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: COIN360
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) opened the week at $290.34 and went up to $295.9 later that day, to finally close Monday at $292.81. Tuesday was the only day of the week to see BCH’s price above $300, peaking at $308.47. Wednesday and Thursday saw big losses during the day, closing at $278.94 ( -4.1%) and $266.85 ( -4.4%) respectively. The price continued to drop throughout the weekend, with the low of the week taking place on Sunday, at $251.62. By the end of the day, BCH’s price managed to go up slightly to close the week at $255.47. The small increase was not enough to close the day with gains, experiencing a 3.3% loss for the day and a significant 12% loss for the week. The market capitalization for Bitcoin Cash also shrunk, going from $5.2B on Monday to $4.5B on Sunday, for a total loss of 12.7%.
Bitcoin Cash 7-day price chart. Source: COIN360
EOS (EOS) started Monday at $5.24. The high of the week came on Tuesday at $5.4 and after that the price of EOS continued the previous week’s fashion, decreasing as the days went by to finally bottom out at $4.53 on Friday, a 16% drop from the coin’s high 3 days earlier. By Friday’s end, the coin had gone up to close the day at $4.74. The rest of the weekend went without surprises, and EOS both opened and closed Sunday at $4.72, without change for the day, and ended with a 9.9% loss for the week. EOS market capitalization closed at $4,9B on Monday, and closed Sunday at $4.5B, reducing its size by 10%.
EOS 7-day price chart. Source: COIN360
In a document issued on Apr. 24, it was revealed that the NYAG is suing the two companies for ongoing fraud, including “undisclosed, conflicted transactions to cover Bitfinex’s losses by transferring money out of Tether reserve funds.” The reported losses from Bitfinex stem from a deal with Panama-based payment processor Crypto Capital, wherein $850 million (which included commingled client funds) were lost or stolen. The lawsuit further reports that Bitfinex took at least $700 million from Tether’s reserves in transactions that were not made public by either party.
Tether and Bitfinex, who share the same CEO, released a collective response to the lawsuit on Apr. 26, where they claim that both companies are in a financially strong situation. The official statement reads: “[the court filings] were written in bad faith and are riddled with false assertions”. The statement continues by saying that the amount that Crypto Capital reportedly lost was not lost, but rather “seized and safeguarded”. This marks the very first instance in which the companies address this sum, which is also the reported cause behind Bitfinex’s inability to process customer withdrawals.
An immediate consequence of the lawsuit has been a spike in price for non-Tether stablecoins, which traded at a premium of as much as 4%. The CEO of Paxos, one of the two NYDFS-approved USD-pegged stablecoins, said that these unregulated “reckless practices” are bad for business, arguing for more regulation and oversight to boost confidence within the industry.
Further reports show that Bitfinex withdrew roughly $89 million worth of BTC and $96 million worth of ETH from its cold wallets on Apr. 26, though it hasn’t been specified whether these amounts were previously owned by Bitfinex or their withdrawal is proof of a major exodus of Bitfinex users.
As per an Apr. 25 report by Indian media outlet The Economic Times, multiple government departments in India have been discussing the possibility of banning the sale, purchase and issuance of all types of cryptocurrency. The bill is already supported by the Department of Economic Affairs, the Central Board of Direct Taxes, the Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority, among other institutions and bodies. Alternatively, another possibility that has been discussed is banning cryptocurrency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
Malta’s financial regulator issued guidelines to educate investors about fraud and the risks present when investing in crypto on Apr. 25. Intending to help people identify fraudulent schemes, the guidance notes outline some of the most common scams such as fake ICOs and crowdfunding scams, and provide 11 red flags that users should be aware of. These red flags include unrealistically high rates of return, lack of documentation, absence of physical offices, and promises of deposited funds being 100% guaranteed.
An Apr. 23 Reuters report shows that the FSA raided Huobi Japan Inc. and Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange Inc. in order to investigate their internal oversight. These investigations were conducted to see if appropriate safety measures have been implemented for customer protection and legal compliance after the exchanges went through changes in management.
The latest XRP Markets Report shows that Ripple sold $169.42 million worth of XRP in Q1 2019, which is 31% higher than the $129.03 million of Q4 2018. Other important takeaways include XRP now being listed on 120 exchanges and that, out of the three billion XRP that were released out of cryptographic escrow in Q1, 2.3 billion returned to new escrow contracts. With Q1 2019 coming to an end, it was also found that Ripple has cumulatively sold $890 million.
An anonymous source who is purportedly in touch with Samsung told on Apr. 24 that Samsung is considering the possibility of developing a public-private blockchain. This would also include its own proprietary coin, reportedly dubbed Samsung Coin. No further details or confirmation of this has appeared, but Samsung seems to be dipping its toes further into crypto, as evidenced by their $2.9 million investment in crypto wallet company Ledger.
TrustToken announced on Apr. 24 that it will be releasing 4 new stablecoins this year: TureAUD backed by Australian dollars; TrueEUR backed by Euros; TrueCAD backed by Canadian dollars; and TrueHKD backed by Hong Kong dollars. TrueAUD is already available for listing on exchanges, and can be purchased in the TrustToken app. TrueCAD and TrueHKD will be launched in the second quarter of 2019, and TrueEUR in the third quarter.
On Apr. 23, TRON CEO Justin Sun tweeted and explicitly stated that the Tron Foundation will partner with Liverpool FC. In his tweet, Sun also featured a short video invitation from Liverpool FC with the TRON logo on the screen. The partnership, however, was denied the next day by a spokesperson of the club, who stated that the aforementioned video was misinterpreted, clarifying that it was an invitation sent by Liverpool FC to know more about the business. The same invitation was sent to different crypto businesses, like crypto exchange Kraken, who dismissed the email as spam.
Chicago-based derivatives exchange CME group has reportedly beat other Bitcoin spot exchanges, with $320,2M in Bitcoin futures volumes on Apr. 23. The exchange, which experienced a 29% decrease in Bitcoin futures volumes from February to March, had a “record trading day” on Bitcoin futures at the beginning of April, with an all-time high volume of over 22,500 contracts performed, for approximately $550M.
An Apr. 23 blog post announced that the first alpha release of the Lightning Desktop App for the Bitcoin mainnet was live. The announcement specifies that this release is more targeted at testers and developers so they can give macOS, Windows and Linux users an opportunity to experiment with the software. It also states that the Lightning Labs team is working on iOS and Android releases of the mainnet app.
Despite having coins such as EOS and Bitcoin Cash take significant hits during the week, Bitcoin—oftentimes referred to as the bellwether of crypto—remains comfortably above the $5k mark, even reaching new heights compared to the rest of the year, and showing a minimal loss in value for the week. The release of Lightning Labs’ Bitcoin Lightning Network client could make Bitcoin much more accessible and user-friendly, and Samsung’s involvement in cryptocurrency could open doors to thousands of new users.
Every top 5 cryptocurrency closed the week in the red. Hopefully these developments will have the desired effect on crypto and we’ll soon be seeing all top 5 cryptocurrencies in green figures.
We wish you a great week,
The COIN360 Editorial Team